20 days in South Island Itinerary

20 days in South Island Itinerary

Created using Inspirock South Island itinerary builder

This plan was created by another user. Make it your plan

Route & dates

Start: Vancouver
Fly:  18 h 30 min
1
Christchurch
— 3 nights
Fly + Bus:  3 h 45 min
2
Blenheim
— 2 nights
Drive:  6 h 45 min
3
Fox Glacier
— 2 nights
Bus:  4 h 45 min
4
Wanaka
— 1 night
Drive:  2 h 30 min
5
Mt. Cook Village
— 2 nights
Drive:  3 h 30 min
6
Dunedin
— 2 nights
Drive:  3 h 30 min
7
Queenstown
— 3 nights
Bus:  3 h 15 min
8
Te Anau
— 3 nights
Bus + Fly:  20 h
End: Vancouver

3
nights
Christchurch

Christchurch ©
Recovering from the earthquakes of 2010 and 2011 was no easy task, but Christchurch has faced the challenges with aplomb.
Change things up with these side-trips from Christchurch: Dolphin & Whale Watching (in Akaroa) and Little River Gallery (in Little River). There's lots more to do: enjoy the views from TranzAlpine Train, admire the natural beauty at Christchurch Botanic Gardens, take an in-depth tour of Canterbury Museum, and have fun at Margaret Mahy Family Playground.

To find maps, where to stay, more things to do, and tourist information, read Christchurch trip builder site.

Vancouver, Canada to Christchurch is an approximately 19- hour flight. You can also do a combination of train and flight; or do a combination of flight, bus, and train. Due to the time zone difference, you'll lose 20 hours traveling from Vancouver to Christchurch. Plan for somewhat warmer temperatures traveling from Vancouver in March, with highs in Christchurch at 23°C and lows at 11°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 16th (Mon) so you can travel to Blenheim.

Things to do in Christchurch

Tours Transportation Museums

Side Trips

Dolphin & Whale Watching, Little River Gallery
Find places to stay Mar 13 — 16:
Highlights from your plan
Christchurch Botanic Gardens ©
Christchurch Botanic Gardens
TranzAlpine Train ©
TranzAlpine Train
International Antarctic Centre ©
International Antarctic Centre

2
nights
Blenheim

Blenheim ©
Enjoy a heady holiday in Blenheim, the most populous town in the wine-growing region of Marlborough.
Explore Marlborough Wine Tours has been added to your itinerary. Kick off your visit on the 17th (Tue): examine the collection at Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre, awaken your taste buds at Explore Marlborough Wine Tours, and then learn about winemaking at Eradus Wines Cellar Door. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: explore the activities along Queen Charlotte Sound, then do a tasting at Hunter's Wines Cellar Door & Wine Shop, then learn about winemaking at Framingham Wines, and finally admire the natural beauty at Upton Oaks Garden.

For maps, more things to do, ratings, and other tourist information, you can read our Blenheim trip tool.

You can do a combination of flight and bus from Christchurch to Blenheim in 4 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or drive. Traveling from Christchurch in March, expect somewhat warmer with lows of 16°C in Blenheim. Cap off your sightseeing on the 18th (Wed) early enough to go by car to Fox Glacier.

Things to do in Blenheim

Tours Wineries Parks

Side Trips

Queen Charlotte Sound, Framingham Wines
Find places to stay Mar 16 — 18:
Highlights from your plan
Explore Marlborough Wine Tours ©
Explore Marlborough Wine Tours
Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre ©
Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre
Framingham Wines ©
Framingham Wines

2
nights
Fox Glacier

Fox Glacier ©
A trip to Fox Glacier brings you close to one of New Zealand's most easily accessible natural wonders.
Start off your visit on the 19th (Thu): go for a walk through Lake Matheson Walk, stroll through Fox Glacier South Side Walk, and then stroll through Franz Josef Glacier. Keep things going the next day: kick back and relax at Gillespies Beach, then hike along Moraine Walk, and then take an unforgettable tour with a helicopter tour.

To find maps, other places to visit, reviews, and tourist information, go to the Fox Glacier trip itinerary planner.

You can drive from Blenheim to Fox Glacier in 7 hours. Other options are to do a combination of flight and bus; or do a combination of flight and car. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 20th (Fri) so you can catch the bus to Wanaka.

Things to do in Fox Glacier

Parks Outdoors Trails

Side Trip

Franz Josef Glacier
Find places to stay Mar 18 — 20:
Highlights from your plan
Franz Josef Glacier ©
Franz Josef Glacier
Gillespies Beach ©
Gillespies Beach
Fox Glacier South Side Walk ©
Fox Glacier South Side Walk

1
night
Wanaka

Wanaka ©
Situated on the shores of Lake Wanaka in the Otago region, Wanaka has become a popular ski and summer resort area, owing to its extensive views of the lake and its proximity to some of the best slopes in the country.
On the 21st (Sat), fly down the slopes at Wanaka, then have some family-friendly fun at Puzzling World, and then explore the activities along Lake Wanaka.

For reviews, other places to visit, photos, and more tourist information, read our Wanaka day trip planning app.

You can take a bus from Fox Glacier to Wanaka in 5 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 21st (Sat) early enough to travel to Mt. Cook Village.

Things to do in Wanaka

Parks Nature Outdoors
Find places to stay Mar 20 — 21:
Highlights from your plan
Lake Wanaka ©
Lake Wanaka
Wanaka ©
Wanaka
Puzzling World ©
Puzzling World

2
nights
Mt. Cook Village

Mt. Cook Village ©
Siting under towering peaks of New Zealand's highest mountain, Mt.
On the 22nd (Sun), head outdoors with Aoraki/Mt. Cook, then trek along Hooker Valley Track, and then trek along Kea Point Track. Here are some ideas for day two: hike along Mueller Hut Route and then explore the activities along Lake Tekapo.

To find where to stay, maps, traveler tips, and other tourist information, you can read our Mt. Cook Village day trip planning site.

Use the Route module to find suitable travel options from Wanaka to Mt. Cook Village. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 23rd (Mon) to allow time to travel to Dunedin.

Things to do in Mt. Cook Village

Parks Outdoors Trails

Side Trips

Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu), Lake Tekapo
Find places to stay Mar 21 — 23:
Highlights from your plan
Hooker Valley Track ©
Hooker Valley Track
Aoraki/Mt. Cook ©
Aoraki/Mt. Cook
Lake Tekapo
Lake Tekapo

2
nights
Dunedin

Dunedin ©
With its history proudly stemming from the Scottish settlers who came here during the colonial era, Dunedin's streets are lined with well-preserved examples of Victorian and Edwardian architecture, while a new culture of nightlife and fine dining takes hold around them.
Kick off your visit on the 24th (Tue): don't miss a visit to The World's Steepest Street, learn more about the world around you at Otago Museum, then see the interesting displays at Toitu Otago Settlers Museum, and finally hike along Tunnel Beach Track. On the next day, browse the exhibits of Dunedin Public Art Gallery, step into the grandiose world of Larnach Castle & Gardens, then get some fabulous bargains at Happy Hens, then make a trip to The Royal Albatross Centre, and finally take some stellar pictures from Flagstaff lookout and Hotere Garden.

To find maps, ratings, other places to visit, and more tourist information, go to the Dunedin trip itinerary planner.

You can drive from Mt. Cook Village to Dunedin in 4 hours. Cap off your sightseeing on the 25th (Wed) early enough to go by car to Queenstown.

Things to do in Dunedin

Museums Parks Wildlife
Find places to stay Mar 23 — 25:
Highlights from your plan
Toitu Otago Settlers Museum ©
Toitu Otago Settlers Museum
Larnach Castle & Gardens ©
Larnach Castle & Gardens
Otago Museum ©
Otago Museum

3
nights
Queenstown

Sheltered in an inlet of Lake Wakatipu, the resort town of Queenstown enjoys a strong reputation for its adventuring and skiing opportunities.
Queenstown is known for fun & games, adventure, and wildlife. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: kick your exploration up a notch at categoryPhrases.alias.some_of_the_top_local_zipline_courses_and_adventure_parks, get the adrenaline pumping with an extreme tour, relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas, and explore the activities along Lake Wakatipu.

To see photos, more things to do, where to stay, and more tourist information, go to the Queenstown sightseeing planning app.

You can drive from Dunedin to Queenstown in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 28th (Sat) early enough to catch the bus to Te Anau.

Things to do in Queenstown

Parks Outdoors Tours
Find places to stay Mar 25 — 28:
Highlights from your plan
Zipline
Speed Boats Tours
Adrenaline & Extreme Tours

3
nights
Te Anau

Te Anau ©
Set among the picturesque peaks and glacially carved fiords of Fiordland National Park, Te Anau offers those wishing to explore the park a great place to stay and enjoy the relaxing atmosphere of a small town in an enviable location.
Te Anau is known for nature, trails, and nightlife. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: explore the activities along Doubtful Sound, explore the fascinating underground world of Te Anau Glowworm Caves, trek along The Chasm Walk, and look for all kinds of wild species at Te Anau Bird Sanctuary.

To see photos, traveler tips, where to stay, and tourist information, refer to the Te Anau driving holiday site.

Take a bus from Queenstown to Te Anau in 3.5 hours. Finish your sightseeing early on the 31st (Tue) so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Te Anau

Parks Nature Trails

Side Trip

Lake Gunn
Find places to stay Mar 28 — 31:
Highlights from your plan
Milford Sound ©
Milford Sound
Doubtful Sound ©
Doubtful Sound
Te Anau Glowworm Caves ©
Te Anau Glowworm Caves

Similar Plans

22 days in South Island BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA February, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, wildlife, hidden gems Preferences: February, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, wildlife Attraction style: Hidden gems Pace: Medium 22 days in South Island BY A USER FROM MALAYSIA April, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, wildlife, popular sights Preferences: April, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, wildlife Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium 45 days in South Island BY A USER FROM MALAYSIA November, culture, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, wildlife, slow & easy, popular & hidden gems Preferences: November, culture, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, wildlife Attraction style: Popular & hidden gems Pace: Slow & easy 23 days in New Zealand BY A USER FROM ISRAEL February, outdoors, beaches, wildlife, popular sights Preferences: February, outdoors, beaches, wildlife Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium 3 days in South Island BY A USER FROM NEW ZEALAND December, teens, kids, culture, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, wildlife, slow & easy, popular sights Preferences: December, teens, kids, culture, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, wildlife Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Slow & easy 12 days in South Island BY A USER FROM MALAYSIA December, teens, kids, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, wildlife, slow & easy, popular & hidden gems Preferences: December, teens, kids, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, wildlife Attraction style: Popular & hidden gems Pace: Slow & easy 30 days in South Island BY A USER FROM MALAYSIA November, relaxing, romantic, wildlife, slow & easy, hidden gems Preferences: November, relaxing, romantic, wildlife Attraction style: Hidden gems Pace: Slow & easy 22 days in South Island BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA December, teens, popular sights Preferences: December, teens Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium 5 days in South Island BY A USER FROM SINGAPORE December, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, shopping, wildlife, popular sights Preferences: December, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, shopping, wildlife Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium 15 days in Auckland & South Island BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA January, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, museums, wildlife, popular & hidden gems Preferences: January, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, museums, wildlife Attraction style: Popular & hidden gems Pace: Medium 9 days in South Island BY A USER FROM CANADA February, culture, outdoors, beaches, historic sites, wildlife, fast-paced, hidden gems Preferences: February, culture, outdoors, beaches, historic sites, wildlife Attraction style: Hidden gems Pace: Fast-paced 24 days in South Island BY A USER FROM SINGAPORE April, popular sights Preferences: April Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium
See more plans